BEATRICE DOMOND INTERVIEW AND INTRODUCTION BY JIM “MURF” MURPHY
Talking with Beatrice, I was blown away on how she views skateboarding. She is so inspired by the culture and stoked to ride that her humble approach and appreciation for being part of the skateboarding family made me feel like I was speaking with a skateboarder for life. Listening to Beatrice speak about going to NYC for the first time and being stoked to meet the people that she had grown to respect via magazines and videos, it reminded me of growing up and first being welcomed to a skateboard crew. She is living proof of how hard work and dedication and your view of the world can inspire you to achieve your dreams. Beatrice is Fucking Awesome!
MURF: Hello, Beatrice. This is Jim Murphy from Juice. How are you?
BEATRICE: Hey, Jim, how are you?
MURF: I’m good. How are you doing?
BEATRICE: I’m well. Everything is good. I’m in L.A. right now.
MURF: All right. You’ve been chilling out there?
BEATRICE: Yeah. I’ve just been chillin’ and hangin’ out. The weather out here is awesome, so I’ve been trying to skate and film and just have fun.
MURF: That’s what it’s all about. Are you ready to get this interview going?
BEATRICE: Yeah, for sure.
MURF: Let’s talk about what year were you born and where you were raised.
BEATRICE: I was born in 1995, in January, in Miami, Florida. I lived there until the age of four.
MURF: When did you start skateboarding?
BEATRICE: It wasn’t until I moved up to Palm Beach County, when I was five, that I started pushing around.
MURF: What got you into it?
BEATRICE: I was always athletic and I was playing a whole bunch of sports and then skateboarding came up and I was like, “Oh, I should try it.”
MURF: What other sports were you into?
BEATRICE: I grew up playing tennis, soccer and basketball, and I was into swimming. I did a lot growing up. My mom put me into a lot of activities. She just wanted us to be well-rounded.
“I didn’t grow up skating with anyone. I didn’t have anyone to skate with besides my younger brother, so I got him into it. I had a little patio in the backyard, so we’d skate that, or we’d go to the park a couple of streets over. It was just me and him for a while.”
MURF: Were you digging the team sports?
KATE: I liked them to an extent. I’ve always been such an individual and a very singular person, so I didn’t like the aspect of being relied on or being the tallest all of the time. With basketball, that would put everything on me and I’d rather not have that responsibility, so I tried skateboarding.
MURF: With skateboarding, did you see other kids skating or were you just burned out on organized sports?
KATE: Yeah. I think that’s what it was. I didn’t grow up skating with anyone. I didn’t have anyone to skate with besides my younger brother, so I got him into it. I had a little patio in the backyard, so we’d skate that, or we’d go to the park a couple of streets over. It was just me and him for a while.
MURF: Was your mom understanding of what it was that you were getting into in skateboarding?
KATE: She was super understanding and super for it. I think she saw that I was just happy and really enthusiastic about it.
MURF: Your mom must be super cool because you really went individual and you were doing things that none of your friends were doing, right?
KATE: Yeah. It’s hard to explain because some parents might be like, “Wait. No one is going to do this with you?” My mom is a really special human. She grew up not getting to do things that she wanted to do, so one of her things was that, when she was older and had children, she was going to let them be themselves. She let us be individuals.
MURF: That’s great. A lot of the kids that you knew probably didn’t have parents that were quite as accepting. A lot of parents will railroad kids into activities that they want them to be into, you know?
BEATRICE: For sure. She had her moments. My mom wanted me to be into tennis and I really loved tennis at one point. When she saw how passionate I was about skating, she did everything in her power to help me continue to get where I am today.
MURF: That’s really cool. Were you reading skate magazines or watching skate videos? What inspired you to keep going?
BEATRICE: Yeah. YouTube had just come out in the early 2000’s and you could type in the word “skateboarding” and just start watching videos and see how to ollie or kickflip. Then you could find pros on the sides of the videos. I’d watch videos and study the magazines and learn from that. I learned how to ollie from watching the internet.
MURF: That’s crazy.
BEATRICE: I know. [Laughs] It’s kinda weird, but I learned half my tricks from watching videos online. I never really thought about that until now.
MURF: Did you feel like you were part of the skate culture?
BEATRICE: I felt like I was part of the skate culture or, at least, I wanted to be. I love a challenge and I really love how skateboarding was back in the day where you had to be knowledgable as well as good. I was like, “If I can get good at skateboarding and I have all of the information, I can meet these cool people and one day skate with them or film with them.”
MURF: When did you start to take road trips? At that point, were you hooking up with anybody to skate with?
BEATRICE: No. It was just me for a long time. I would go to Tampa and watch the Tampa Am and get stoked by that. I was like, “One day I could be here skating Tampa Am.” Eventually, I went to the skatepark, but I never really made friends at the park, so I’d just skate by myself. It wasn’t until I met Bill [Strobeck] and I sent him my videos and I went to New York that I had a unit of people that I could call my friends and travel with. I had school friends, but no one skated in my high school.
MURF: So you sent Bill your videos?
BEATRICE: Yeah. That’s how I got on FA and Supreme. I’d make these videos and film them on my tripod and edit them myself and send them to Bill.
MURF: That’s incredible. Who was Bill working for at that point?
BEATRICE: I think he was just freelance then. I had watched Photosynthesis and he participated in filming that and then I read an interview with him where he said that he might quit filming skateboarding to do other work. I was like, “I’ve got to hang out with this guy and film with him before he decides to quit filming skateboarding.” So I sent Bill all of my videos and he was like, “I’m working on this video.” That happened to be the Cherry video, which was the first Supreme video that he was working on at the time and he put me in the video. Then, in 2014, I got an invitation that said, “You’re invited to the premiere of Supreme’s first video.”
MURF: Wow. Did they fly you up there?
BEATRICE: No. I had a job working at Sky King Fireworks, at the time, in my hometown, and I’m a big saver, so I had some money saved. My mom got us tickets for the Amtrak train up to New York and I financed the hotel and the food we ate. The train takes longer than a plane, but we got there and spent three days in New York for the premiere.
MURF: Were you tripping when you got to New York City?
BEATRICE: Yeah. I was so excited. That was my first time to New York and I was tripping so hard. I was taking pictures of everything. [Laughs] I was taking pictures of trashcans on the side of the roads. I was like, “Look! It’s a New York City trashcan! Dill ollied that in Mind Field! I was so excited and happy to be there. I don’t know if I mentioned this, but my dad is from New York. When I was growing up, he was like, “New York is the best!” He always talked about it, but we never got to go.
MURF: Where did your dad grow up in New York?
BEATRICE: He grew up in the Bronx. When he was in high school, his family moved into Manhattan to the Lower East Side. That was in the ‘70s and New York was wilder then, you know?
MURF: Yeah. He was in the Boogie Down Bronx.
BEATRICE: That’s so funny. That’s what he calls it, the Boogie Down Bronx! [Laughs] That was his vibe. He was telling me these crazy stories.
MURF: For him to see you go to New York, he must have been stoked. He wasn’t fearing for you going to the city, right?
BEATRICE: No. He just said, “Be safe and watch out for yourself. You’re going to have an amazing time.” To him, New York is the best and will always be the best.”
MURF: That’s so rad. Where did you stay?
BEATRICE: We stayed at the Holiday Inn on Delancey.
“It’s about the journey and not about the destination. You’re going to look back on your life and think, “I miss drinking 99 cent rootbeer and eating Cheetos at my skatepark while I was trying to learn this new trick.” Those are the moments that you live for. If you can cherish those, you can always cherish when you reach your goal. Trust me. You’ll regret it if you don’t spend time just enjoying your youth. Don’t rush. Take your time.”
MURF: So you were on the Lower East Side. Do you remember what the scene was?
BEATRICE: It was freezing cold. We got there on the 12th of March, which is prime time winter in New York City.
MURF: Totally. What did you do before you went to the video premiere?
BEATRICE: We checked into the hotel and everything was chill and then I DMed Bill on Instagram. He was like, “You should come over to the house and bring your mom.” So we go to his house with the famous wall. By then, that was already becoming a thing where people were taking photos of the wall. It was so sick. So we’re there and my mom got to meet Bill and he was so pleasant and kind to her. He told her about skating and how we met. She was like, “That’s cool. Beatrice talks all about you.” Then he was like, “We should go to Supreme and you can meet everyone.” He got my mom a taxi back to the hotel because she was kinda beat, and then Bill and I started skating down to the East Village. I had no idea where I was, so I was just following him. As we were skating, I was seeing every professional skateboarder, in the span of five minutes. I guess everybody was out there for the premiere. Alex Olson was just sitting and having a coffee, so I met him for the first time. We stopped and he was like, “What’s up? I’ve seen your skating.” He was complimenting me and it was so crazy. I couldn’t really say anything because I was freezing cold and speechless. I had just gotten there from Florida and here were all of these skateboarders that I got to meet. Then we went to Supreme and everyone was there. They were all like, “Welcome. Good to have you. Super stoked that you’re here.”
MURF: Were you sponsored by Supreme then?
BEATRICE: In 2014, I was getting FA flow and Supreme flow. A lot of people don’t know this, but I’ve been on FA since the beginning. Since Dill and AVE quit Alien Workshop, I’ve been on FA. The first time I got a box was September 23rd, 2013.
MURF: How did you get on Fucking Awesome?
BEATRICE: Well, I think my case was just different and special. Before then, I would send Bill my videos and, one day, he was hanging out with Jason and he showed him my videos and Jason emailed me. I still have the email. I even cut it out and put it on my wall as a good memory. He was like, “Hey, this is Jason. I don’t do email much. I’m very old, but I saw the tape that you gave to Bill. You look cool. I want to send you some Workshop stuff. Send me your address and I’ll get you something soon. Hope all is well.” – J.D. I laughed that he said he was old.
MURF: [Laughs] At that point, Dill was still on Alien Workshop, but he was looking to do his own thing, right?
BEATRICE: Yeah. He was still on Alien Workshop, but then FA came to be. Then they announced that they were doing FA as a board brand. That was around the same time that Cherry was being filmed, so I was talking to Bill every day or every other day. Jason was putting work into his new company and just before the brand got released to the public, I got a box of two FA boards. It was two Anthony class boards and a few Supreme t-shirts and stickers.
MURF: Those first AVE boards had his picture on them of him as a little kid. What was your reaction when you saw those graphics?
BEATRICE: I was stoked. I was like, “Whoa! He looks exactly the same. That’s Anthony. This is AVE’s board.” I knew about Fucking Awesome before it became a board company because it was his clothing brand. There was imagery of it. I do my research and I really care about skateboarding, so I kinda know what’s going on. I knew of FA as a clothing brand, before it was a board company, so I was like, “Ok. Now it’s going to be a board brand.”
MURF: Jason was starting from scratch with a board company and I know he was stressed about it, but you were confident it was going to work, right? You were like, “This is going to blow up.”
BEATRICE: For sure. They were just so cool. Now when I think about it, that’s ridiculous. As a kid, I was like, “These guys are the coolest people on the planet and they’re going to make something so sick and I’m going to ride for it.” I have a sense of people and intuition. I didn’t know anything about money and how that stuff works, but I knew that these people are cool and they’re going to do cool stuff.
“When I was growing up, I didn’t see anybody like myself, but I took from people. I’m tall, so I’d look at Kareem Campbell because he’s tall, or I’m brown, like Kareem Campbell is brown. I’m a girl, like Vanessa Torres, so I saw that I could do this too. It was even intricate things like Chad Tim Tim and I have the same birthday, so I thought that I was meant to do this.”
MURF: Did you see the brilliance and the insanity of calling a company Fucking Awesome?
BEATRICE: Well, at the time, I was scared to tell my mom, “Mom, this company is called Fucking Awesome.” Usually, she’s against that stuff, but I guess she saw how stoked I was on it. She was like, “Okay.” After getting her approval, I didn’t think anything of it. It’s just edgy. I call it FA sometimes, but when you’re young, cuss words are cool.
MURF: Look at how big it is now. It was just an idea and you were there at the beginning and you’ve seen it evolve. It’s incredible.
BEATRICE: Yeah. The thing of it is, that what it is now, I already thought that’s what it was then. I was like, “These are my favorite skaters. They’re cool. It’s going to be cool.”
MURF: That’s really beautiful. That’s just pure skateboarding. That’s fucking awesome. You were getting boards and you love those guys and everything was great.
BEATRICE: Yeah! [Laughs] That’s exactly how I felt. Now I’m more like, “What?! Oh my god!” I might panic. Back then, I was like, “Let’s do it.”
MURF: What was the time span between then and when you went to New York City for the Supreme Cherry video premiere?
BEATRICE: I was in Florida still, just skating my heart out. I didn’t have anyone to tell me how to do stuff. That’s why I have a different journey than some other skateboarders. I didn’t have anyone around to tell me that I should move to California or New York to get the ball rolling. I was just like, “I’m in Florida and I’m just going to skate.” They knew I was here when they gave me the boards, so I was skating and I just kept doing what I was doing. I took everything literally when I was younger. Everyone was like, “Just keep doing what you’re doing.” So I was like, “Okay.” So I kept skating in Florida.
MURF: It wasn’t like you were getting any jocked out pressure from Dill. Dill dug you for who you are and what you did, so you didn’t have to do anything but just be yourself.
BEATRICE: Yeah. I just had to be myself. I was just skating in Florida every day and going to school and grinding it out. I was just finishing up high school, about to enter university. Around that time, I wasn’t sure what I was doing. It was one of those things where I was going to go to school and just keep skating.
MURF: Were you of the mind that you wanted to go to university or did you just want to go skateboarding? Was that the battle?
BEATRICE: Well, I think the battle was that I wanted to do both. I was like, “All right, I’ll go to school.” I wanted to be an architect, so I thought I would go to school for architecture and skate on the side and try to make it work that way. There’s a lot to say about being naive and not really knowing how to do the skating thing, if that makes sense.
MURF: Do you mean as far as the business goes and marketing and promoting yourself?
BEATRICE: Exactly. I had no idea. I was like, “I’ll go to school for architecture and still keep skating and filming my videos and putting them out, even if it was just on Instagram. I would go to New York on Spring Break and I’d get these modeling jobs and that’s how I would make money to fund my skating.
MURF: So this was right after you went up for the Supreme Cherry video premiere, when you started getting modeling work?
MURF: I had no idea you were a model. I think it’s interesting that you’re skating and people are discovering you and you’re like, “Okay. I’ll model, so I can get to skate up in New York.”
BEATRICE: That was the goal. I was doing everything to get to New York to skate and get that feeling that I had the first time I went, so I took the modeling jobs.
MURF: Nice! Were those modeling jobs good paying gigs?
BEATRICE: Yeah. They were paying me well. It got to the point where, on Spring Break, I could fund my own little trip to New York to skate.
MURF: Where did you like to skate in the city?
BEATRICE: I like to skate Tompkins. That’s a big hit in the city.
MURF: Explain to people that haven’t been there what the deal is with Tompkins Square Park and why it’s so rad to skate there.
BEATRICE: Going back to Florida, I grew up watching Compost and those old videos where there was that box in the middle of Tompkins. I didn’t know anything about Tompkins then, but I thought that box was there all of the time. That’s not the case. I like it because I grew up watching Harold Hunter skate that place. They were all skating there and hanging out there and it just looked cool. It’s just a bunch of flat ground. Sometimes people will put obstacles there, but they’re not always there.
MURF: Were there other skaters that you would meet up with there and skate with?
BEATRICE: At the time, Sage was living there, so I’d call him and we’d skate L.E.S. a bunch. I didn’t get a New York summer until later, so I saw that people didn’t leave the house in the winter in New York City. Everyone was either heading out to L.A. or it was just too cold. Now I get it, but then I was like, “I’m only here for a week. Where are you? Let’s skate.”
MURF: Was Dill living in New York at that point?
BEATRICE: No. At the time, he was in LA, so he wasn’t in New York anymore. I would only see Dill in New York at the Blessed premiere and the Cherry premiere.
MURF: Let’s go back to the Cherry premiere with Supreme. Was that the first time that you connected face to face with Dill?
BEATRICE: Yeah. My mom actually took the first photo of me and him in front of the East Village theater.
MURF: Sick! You must have been tripping.
BEATRICE: Oh, dude, of course. I was stoked. I was so happy.
“I grew up watching “Compost” and those old videos where there was that box in the middle of Tompkins. I didn’t know anything about Tompkins then, but I thought that box was there all of the time. That’s not the case. I like it because I grew up watching Harold Hunter skate that place. They were all skating there and hanging out there and it just looked cool.”
MURF: You go from being an isolated skater, watching YouTube and skaters that you emulate, to actually meeting all of these pro skateboarders. Were you surprised at how cool they were when you met them and the camaraderie that went down?
BEATRICE: I always had high expectations then, so I was inspired to meet them, which is pretty rare. When most people meet their favorite skaters, they’re let down. When I first met Dill and Bill, they exceeded my expectations. I don’t know if they meant to do that, but they really did. It was kind of crazy.
MURF: You’ve got your mom there seeing how cool it all is too. It’s perfect.
BEATRICE: Yes. She was so proud.
MURF: Were you tripping at all about your mom coming with you? What if it went south?
BEATRICE: My thing was that my mom was coming all the way there, so what if I had no clips in the video. I was like, “That’s going to be so embarrassing.” Then I was like, “Whatever. This is our first trip to New York. She loves me for who I am and she was proud of me just for being born.” At that point, you can’t do anything wrong. It turned out good though. The crowd was so hyped when my clip came on and she was so proud. It was funny. She was sitting next to Steve Olson and Alex Olson, so I was tripping on that. It was crazy. There were all of these pros sitting around us and it was just too much at once. It was so overwhelming.
MURF: You got hit with everything. It was your first time in New York and you’re seeing all the heavy duty pros and you’re in a video and people were screaming for you. It must have been a trip.
BEATRICE: I was so overwhelmed. It was just ridiculous. I was like, “What the heck is going on?”
MURF: After the video premiere, did you get into cool conversations with people who were getting to meet you face to face?
BEATRICE: Yes. Everyone was coming up to me. Jahmal Williams said, “That was dope. Congratulations.” I was like, “What?” It was just the coolest people saying, “That was sick!” They were so stoked to have me there. It was crazy. Some of the people were just so nice.
MURF: That’s righteous because you’re skating for fun and you just wanted to connect with people and everything is flowing.
BEATRICE: Exactly. It’s crazy how it went. Here it all is in one big swoop. I met Dylan Rieder that night too. I met every pro that I look up to in the span of two days. Everyone came to that premiere. It was crazy.
MURF: Everyone was showing respect and love too, which is beautiful.
BEATRICE: Yeah. A lot of people say that there are the cool guys of the industry, like Supreme, but they are actually the sweetest of all of the industry guys, in my opinion.
MURF: How would you define Supreme and the people associated with Supreme?
BEATRICE: From my perspective, it was very family. They were really open and they really took care of me and showed me around and they made themselves available, when they didn’t have to. They might be the cool guys, but they were super sweet.
MURF: After that video, you’ve got your modeling career going. Were you still in college?
BEATRICE: I was still going to college, but I had switched my major to film.
MURF: Was that because of your skateboarding and the videos you were making of yourself?
BEATRICE: Yeah. I figured that was more close to home, so it made it more tangible and easier.
MURF: Did you finish college?
BEATRICE: No. I ended up getting my associates. Before I could finish, I started going on trips and whatnot.
MURF: What was your first trip?
BEATRICE: My first real skate trip was a Vans trip.
MURF: How did you get on Vans?
BEATRICE: It was definitely a Dill connection.
MURF: At that point, you know Dill and the guys at Supreme. Did you ever ask them, “Hey, how do I get on a trip?”
BEATRICE: See. That’s why my story is so long. I never did that. I just didn’t think that’s how you went about it. How I think of things is, if you have it and you’re coming with it, no one can deny you and you should just have what you deserve.
MURF: So you just thought that people should be asking you.
BEATRICE: It was more like, “If I’m not getting asked to go on a trip, I’m not there yet, so I need to be skating harder.” That’s how I thought of that.
MURF: The other side of that coin is that they might see it like you don’t want to go because you’re not showing enthusiasm.
BEATRICE: See. That’s what I didn’t know people thought, which I learned later in life. I just thought, “Oh, they didn’t ask me to go. I’m not ready yet. Keep skating harder.” That’s what I thought. I didn’t ask. I just kept skating really hard. Then I had this watch sponsor, CHPO, at the time. It was a Swedish watch company that wanted to sponsor me, so I was like, “Thank you. That’s great.” They were like, “We’re going to California to work on ads for next year and we want to fly you out for that.” That was my first time in California in 2018.
MURF: What was that trip like?
BEATRICE: Well, I met up with the guy from the company and they showed me around and it was really cool. I was like, “I should call Sean or go to Supreme or call someone out here and tell them that I’m out here.” So I did and we all met up and hung out. I guess me just being here showed them that I was serious about this. Then I got a phone call from Dill and he put me on as an amateur, officially, for FA.
MURF: Killer. At that point, FA was up and running to where Dill could sponsor you?
BEATRICE: Yeah. The FA team was already established, but I was just a flow rider, getting boards and stuff. The team had already come out with two videos and it was already established by then. I think the fact that I came out here to California goes back to what you’re saying. They were like, “Oh, she’s serious about this and she wants to skate.” I think that everyone saw me skating and working really hard. Dill called me and said that everyone was telling him that I was doing a great job. It was amazing when he officially put me on, May 28, 2018.
MURF: You know what it is, Beatrice? There are a lot of people in skateboarding that oversell themselves, so sponsors aren’t used to people that are humble and quiet. There are so many people in their face wanting free shit. That’s what makes you so unique. You’re like, “I’m just going to skate and, if you don’t call me, I’m just going to keep skating harder.”
BEATRICE: Yeah. That’s what I thought.
MURF: It’s all good because you’re so humble. The fact that you’re skating hard and you’re dedicated, that’s why it’s paying off now. You’re a real skater.
BEATRICE: Thanks, Jim. I appreciate that.
MURF: You’re a true skater saying, “I’m just going to skate. It’s all good. I’m modeling in New York and I’m going to make some money and skate.” That’s skateboarding.
BEATRICE: Thank you. Yeah. I grew up thinking that’s how you do it in skateboarding. You just keep skating and, if people think you’re rad, they’ll hook you up. I was raised to be confident, but also, if you do the work, you’ll get your shine. There’s no need for me to be putting it in your face. If you see it, you’ll see it.
MURF: I think you’ve taken the best road possible because you stayed true to yourself. I think Jason and AVE have been around the block enough that they know true people. I think that’s why you are where you are and that’s fucking awesome!
BEATRICE: [Laughs] Thanks, Jim. I appreciate that.
MURF: So it’s 2018, and you’re in California and Dill puts you on FA as an amateur. Did you go skate with Dill when you were out there for that watch shoot?
BEATRICE: I don’t think I saw him on that trip. He gave me a phone call to tell me about all of these things and he was like, “We’re going to shoot your first ad. You’re going to meet up with Atiba.” Dill was living in Ventura then and I didn’t really know my way around, but he said, if he came to L.A., he would hit me up. I didn’t skate with him when I came to L.A. for the first time. I was just skating with everyone around me and meeting people at parks. I skated the Diamond Park and I knew Spanish Mike from Instagram. I was just skateboarding all day every day and going to every park and all the street spots. I was just hyped to be here. I didn’t get to see AVE either. I think AVE was on a trip.
MURF: Were you street skating mostly or did you hit many skateparks?
BEATRICE: I hit Frogtown and we street skated all through the streets. I met up with my friend that was living here. She is from the East Coast too and she just loves skating around. We had no car, so we were just skating everywhere. It was like skating in New York, but in L.A. you just skate everywhere. You skate to the spot and you skate to the skatepark. We skated the Silverlake park and the Diamond park. I got to skate AVE and Dylan’s old park. Now it’s the Nike park in North Hollywood. I skated there and I skated the L.A. Supreme bowl.
MURF: How did that ride?
BEATRICE: That was sick. I like that bowl a lot better. It’s tight. If you’re really good at transition, you won’t really like it, but, if you’re a beginner, like myself, with transition, it’s good. I love it. I could do boneless tail in there and I got some backside grinds.
MURF: Did you skate any pools out there or other bowls?
BEATRICE: No. My friend didn’t know of any and I was just going where she was going. I didn’t skate any pools, but I skated that bowl a lot. I went to a lot of skateparks and a lot of street spots. I just skated anywhere.
MURF: Cool. So how did things go with that watch company?
BEATRICE: I did that photo shoot and then I ended up getting another modeling gig while I was here. Someone saw that I was in L.A. and they were like, “Hey, we’re doing this shoot in San Pedro. We’ll bring you up, if you’re down to do it.” I was like, “Okay. Yeah.” I extended my flight so that I could stay in L.A. for two more weeks, from that money.
MURF: So you were out in L.A. and you were skating. Now that you were on Fucking Awesome, as an amateur, was Dill hooking you up on other stuff?
BEATRICE: Yeah. He was like, “Who are you riding for?” At that time, I had Nike SB giving me flow from Nike. He was like, “What?” The last time he had seen my footage, I guess I was wearing Vans, but I wasn’t riding for Vans at the time. He was like, “What? No Vans?” I was like, “No. I’m on the Nike SB deal.” He was like, “We can get you on Vans. It will be a good look.” With the help of Dill, I got on and I started riding for Vans. The team manager called me and got it all sorted and I got on Vans.
MURF: Who called you?
BEATRICE: First, Frank Mare called me, who is the TM. Then Jamie Hart called me. Dill told me that he knew Jamie. Jamie had known Dill since he was a child. He was telling me that he was a good guy. I was like, “Okay, cool.” On that note, after I got on Vans, a couple of months went by.
MURF: Did Frank or Jamie start talking to you about possible travel and what Vans wanted to do with you?
BEATRICE: They were just like, “We’re stoked to have you be a part of it.” It wasn’t until my first trip where they were like, “We want you to do this trip. We think you should do this.” We didn’t really talk too much at first about other avenues. They were just happy to have me on, I guess.
MURF: Which Vans shoes were you riding then?
BEATRICE: I hadn’t ridden many Vans, so I wanted to try each shoe so I could see which ones ride the best. I knew that I liked the old schools because I used to ride the Tony Trujillo Old School Lows. Vans sent me a whole bunch of shoes, so I got to test which ones I like better. It was really cool. Even though Nike is super sick, when you get on Vans, it’s a big deal. That’s a dream sponsor. Every kid who skates has wanted to get on Vans or has ridden Vans. Mike Carroll, Keenan Milton and Rick McCrank have ridden for Vans at one point. All those guys have their own deals now but, at one point, they rode for Vans. It’s an insane brand. To get to ride for them, I was like, “How am I on Vans right now?”
MURF: It’s because you rip.
BEATRICE: [Laughs] Thank you. I’m so grateful for it. It’s just so crazy to think. I’m like, “What? It’s Vans. They are so big.” I try not to think about it too much, so I don’t get overwhelmed, but it’s a big deal to ride for them. When Dill told me they were down, I was like, “What? Really?” That’s real. They have AVE and Ray Barbee on there. They have really good skaters and it’s a heavy crew.
MURF: Yeah. All of the teams have heavy crews, but Vans is such a family thing with Van Doren. It’s just a different vibe.
BEATRICE: Yeah. He’s the coolest. I got to meet him at the Geoff Rowley event to celebrate all of the years Geoff has been on Vans. Steve was so cool. You wouldn’t think he knew my name, but he did. I was like, “Whoa.” I’m thinking, “You probably have so many people that you need to know and you know my name? That’s so cool.” It was super rad.
MURF: That is cool. So you’re on Vans and you’re FA sponsored and Supreme sponsored. After the watch trip, what was the next crazy endeavor you got into?
BEATRICE: Blessed was being filmed in 2018 and 2019. That was the second Supreme video that was being worked on. I was still modeling just because it was fun and Vans was sending me on a bunch of trips. The end of 2018 and 2019 was insane.
MURF: What was your first Vans trip?
BEATRICE: My first Vans trip was a New York trip where we just skated and went to the Death Match, which was a ramp contest in Queens, New York. They brought all of their riders to skate it. Vans loves doing things just for the sake of people having fun skating. It’s kinda cool.
“My first Vans trip was a New York trip where we just skated and went to the Death Match, which was a ramp contest in Queens, New York. They brought all of their riders to skate it. Vans loves doing things just for the sake of people having fun skating.”
MURF: It’s just straight up fun, right?
BEATRICE: Yeah. They had a park there, free of charge. What’s their motive? I don’t know. Just to have a park. It’s so sick, you know?
MURF: Totally. Who was on that trip with you?
BEATRICE: It was Tyson Peterson and Omar Hassan and a lot of the Vans Canadian dudes, like Dustin Henry, Justin Henry, Leon Chapdelaine, Etienne Gagne, and a lot of the young am team that they have.
MURF: It was a lot of hot ams and you all showed up and just started ripping?
BEATRICE: Yeah. We just started skating. Austin Kanfoush who rides for Antihero was there, so I got to see him skate and rip. Pedro Delfino was on that trip too. It was a good trip. That was my first real trip. Vans was like, “We’re flying you to skate here.”
MURF: So it was a full Vans family team trip.
BEATRICE: Yeah. We’d go in the morning and have orange juice at the bottom of the hotel with egg and cheese sandwiches. Then we’d get in two cars and go find spots to skate all day after that.
MURF: There were photographers and filmers there all day filming?
BEATRICE: Yeah. There were two filmers. It was my first real skate trip. It was crazy.
MURF: No pressure. It was just fun and skate.
BEATRICE: Yeah. No pressure at all, I realized over the last year or so that you’re there for a reason. Don’t trip too much. You made it here and they want you to do your best. You’ve pretty much made it once you’re in the van already.
MURF: Does it ever feel like a job, on those trips, or does it still feel like you’re having fun?
BEATRICE: It’s definitely fun. Sometimes I want to do a lot better than I’m doing, so I’ll push myself for no reason. Then I take it back down and think, “This is supposed to be fun. Don’t stress out too much.”
MURF: After that road trip, did Vans have a schedule for you for that year?
BEATRICE: I think it just goes with where I fit. After that, I was in New York just hanging about in late October 2018. I was in New York just skating.
MURF: Were you living in Florida still?
BEATRICE; After that New York trip, in early October, I ended up getting a sublet in New York.
MURF: Were you still modeling to pay the rent?
BEATRICE: It was kinda like that, but my life shifted because I was getting on these teams and I was just trying to do my best skating. It’s not like I wasn’t looking to them before, but I wasn’t really checking on them. I was just skating. At the end of 2018, I went to see my family and then I went on a House of Vans trip to Detroit, Michigan.
MURF: How was that?
BEATRICE: It was cool. AVE was on that trip, so I was trying to do my best. It was really cold, so we couldn’t really go street skate. Detroit is freezing.
MURF: Oh yeah. The winds blow in off the lakes.
BEATRICE: Yeah. It’s super windy and ice cold.
MURF: You had an indoor park to skate there?
BEATRICE: Yeah. Vans took over this school and there was a three-story indoor spot. The skatepark was on the second floor or third floor. There was a bump to bar and a ledge and a grass gap and two quarter pipes on the side. It was really cool. They had Greg Hunt there and Joe Brook on the ground floor teaching photography and film. It was so insane. They put us up in a spot to sleep and we had a girls clinic so, one day I got to teach some girls how to skate or how to set up boards. I like doing that stuff.
MURF: That’s cool. Vans invited girls from around the neighborhood?
BEATRICE: Yeah. Girls came to watch us skate. On one of the days, I got to help them learn to do tricks or set up boards. I like that Vans does that because I like to interact with people that like my skating or follow me or whatever. It was cool.
MURF: You’d set them up with new skateboards?
BEATRICE: Yeah. I don’t know what program they worked with but all of the stuff was there for them to set up. Vans handled all that. I just helped the girls put their griptape on or I taught them how to put their trucks on. It was really cool. I love doing stuff like that because I grew up doing mission work in high school. I enjoy helping people.
MURF: Did you see girls that were inspired? Did you teach them and get them up on the board and roll them around the park?
BEATRICE: Yeah. Some were kinda nervous, so I just talked to them. Some of them were just pushing around on the flat or going up the ramps. It was cool.
MURF: Did you find that girls were a little more intimidated about skateboarding or were they really enthusiastic?
BEATRICE: They seemed enthusiastic. Maybe, because it was a Vans thing, they were kinda intimidated. I know, when I was growing up, I wasn’t intimidated by anything but, when I would see my favorite pro or am, I would get all awkward. I feel like they were stoked, but awfully shy.
MURF: It seems like there is a certain approach that women have that other girls can be inspired by and think, “I can do this too.”
BEATRICE: For sure. It’s so sick. When I was growing up, I didn’t see anybody like myself, but I took from people. I’m tall, so I’d look at Kareem Campbell because he’s tall, or I’m brown, like Kareem Campbell is brown. I’m a girl, like Vanessa Torres, so I saw that I could do this too. It was even intricate things like Chad Tim Tim and I have the same birthday, so I thought that I was meant to do this. It was like, “This is sick.”
MURF: You were looking for inspiration to know that you could do this too?
BEATRICE: Totally. I’d be like, “Gilbert Crockett has both legs. So do I. I’m in this. I can do it!” [Laughs] Anything that is practically called a barrier in my situation, I found other people and took it to see that I could do it too, so there’s nothing that I can’t do. If all of these other people have all of these qualities, it’s not a barrier to me at all.
MURF: Look where you are now. It’s inspiring. Right on for helping out those girls.
BEATRICE: Yeah. Hopefully, one of them can be like, “Beatrice taught me how to skate.” It would be flattering if they were like, “I remember she came to the House of Vans and showed me how to skate.” That would be sick.
MURF: Yeah. You were giving. For a lot of kids, growing up, they don’t have a lot given to them. Here’s a stranger giving them a skateboard and saying, “Let me show you how to do this.” That’s heavy for a kid.
BEATRICE: Yeah. You can only give what you have inside. I don’t know if you know Wayne Dyer. He’s a public speaker. If you have love inside of yourself, that’s love you have to give. If you have hate inside of yourself, that’s all you can give out.
MURF: Totally. The way that you vibe on Vans and the way they spread the love and you’re spreading the love and helping these kids coming up, that’s one of the best things about skateboarding.
BEATRICE: It’s so good. Vans is a really good company. I’m glad that I decided to swing over there. I really do love it. People are always like, “I got the first phone call and they said that we’re a family, but everyone always says that we’re family. Whatever. That’s cool.” Vans really is family. The TM is always calling and checking on me to see how I’m doing and asking me what I want to do to help me get better. They have so many riders and they always remember my birthday. I don’t know if they do that for everybody, but it makes me know that they care about me.
MURF: The vibe that you’re putting out there comes back to you. You’ve put in so much hard work and you’ve got such a good heart. After I met you, I was like, “Wow. That’s an amazing woman.”
BEATRICE: Thank you!
MURF: You’re doing it for the right reasons and you’re obviously stoked on skateboarding. You’re like, “I can’t believe I’m here. I’m in New York City. This is rad.”
BEATRICE: Yeah. Sometimes it gets overwhelming because I get so excited about everything. I went to the warehouse at FA and I was like, “How is it that I can just pull up here and get pants and boards? This is crazy!” I get so overwhelmed. Sometimes I’m like, “When is this going to end?” It’s so amazing. I don’t know about anybody else, but this is who I want to ride for. I’m not riding for a company and going, “Oh, well, it’s a paycheck and a board.” I’m genuinely stoked. I’d buy FA boards and stickers if I had to. I’m like, “This is so cool.” All of the guys at the warehouse are super sick. It’s awesome.
MURF: It’s Fucking Awesome.
BEATRICE: [Laughs] You’re right, Murf. It is fucking awesome. I hung out with Dill when I first got here and that was so cool. We were just vibing and chilling and he was showing me stuff.
MURF: Is Los Angeles your new home now?
BEATRICE: No. I’m only here to get some good weather and film and try to get a part going and get some skateboarding going and be around skateboarding, so I can improve. I really want to improve my skating. I feel like, being around L.A. where all these great kids are, I can get some inspiration. It’s not that New York doesn’t have that but, in L.A., I go to a park and I see a pro, so I can get more amped or more juiced to go skateboard. This year I just want to focus on making a video part and progressing my skateboarding. I know I can skate a flat bar, so I know I can get on a handrail. I’m like, “Let’s try to get that going.”
MURF: When you’re out there, you’re doing a lot of street skating, but when you go to these parks and see kids riding bowls and ripping and blasting airs, is there part of you that wants to learn that?
BEATRICE: Yeah. I was watching Erick Winkowski’s part and he’s the sickest. I was so juiced. I was trying to do handplants on flat. I want to be that dude. He’s so good. I want to skate like that with the inverts and long grinds and airs. I’m really into that. I want to learn transition and just progress in my skating, which goes hand in hand. If I can progress, I can skate transition.
MURF: There is no limit to what you can do. If you put your mind to it, you can do it. Just get ready to endure some pain.
BEATRICE: Let’s get it. That’s what it’s about. I’ll get back up and do it again.
MURF: You were hanging out with Dill. What is Jason’s state of mind these days? Things are blowing up with FA, so what was it like hanging with him?
BEATRICE: He’s cool. He was just talking and showing me new things. When you talk to him, you get a little bit of what’s inside of his brain and it’s super cool.
MURF: Does he ever talk to you about the crazy graphics that he’s coming up with?
BEATRICE: Yeah. He showed me some of the ones that are coming out in the future. He’s like, “This is going to be one.” I’m like, “Oh, that’s cool.” He was showing me one that he was working on and how he does it and makes it his own. It’s really cool. He’s got a really interesting vibe. He’s so wild.
MURF: Oh yeah. I love his graphics. What do you think of the Fucking Awesome graphics?
BEATRICE: They’re crazy. They are everything I want in a graphic. I love putting stickers on my board. That’s half of skating to me. You grow up and you get stickers. Sometimes I don’t put stickers on my board at all. When you’ve got a graphic that is too sick for stickers, that’s when you’re doing a Fucking Awesome job.
MURF: What’s your favorite Fucking Awesome graphic?
BEATRICE: Right now it would be the solid white Dylan board. I get so juiced on skating that board. I learned Bigfoots on that board. I learn so much new stuff when I skate that board. Right now I’m into the Hockey graphics too. I like what they’re doing.
MURF: How would you describe the Hockey vibe? How is it different from Fucking Awesome in your mind?
BEATRICE: It’s FA, but they have a different art direction over there. I like it. Hockey is very everyone that rides for Hockey, if that makes sense. If you’re getting a Hockey garment or board, it’s based off someone on that team. That’s cool because I feel like that’s why you get gear because you want to skate like that person or you look up to that person.
MURF: You know those guys, so you can see it in each graphic.
BEATRICE: For sure. I love that it’s from Dill’s brain, but he thinks about everyone and what they would look good in or what they would like. It’s sick.
MURF: Did you go over to the Fucking Awesome store?
BEATRICE: I haven’t been there since the opening.
MURF: I heard that the line out the door for the opening was the longest in history. I’m so stoked for Dill and AVE.
BEATRICE: Yeah. The opening party for friends and family was the night before and there were people already lining up for the opening to the public the next day. It was insane. I wasn’t there for opening day. I went skating, so I didn’t see it, but I heard the line wrapped around the whole block. That’s crazy. Hollywood Boulevard is crazy.
MURF: I hear that they have an upside down cop car in there.
BEATRICE: Yeah. It looks really cool in there. I gotta go over there and say what’s up. It’s amazing. They’ve got the whole board wall. It’s different. It’s very modern, but it’s very skate shop vibe. I like it.
MURF: Cool. I heard that you put out a book.
BEATRICE: Oh yeah. It’s a little photo book.
MURF: How did you get into publishing a book?
BEATRICE: When I was in university studying film, I took a photography class where I shot photos on manual and I also developed them in school, so I learned how to develop film and shoot film. I grew up having albums in my home. My mom would take photos of us and our lives, so you can see my life from when I was born up until I was 20. There are photos that she took of me and all of my siblings and we each have our own albums. Occasionally, she would open them and give us a story about what happened in a picture and where we were and I always loved that. It was to the point that it was almost exciting to me. I’d wake up and have a day where I’d be like, “Mom, let’s go through the albums.” She would tell me stories about the album, so I grew up with photos and the meaning of them. She loved cameras and capturing us. I mean, we were her only subjects, her kids, but I just loved when she would tell me a story of the photos that she took. I was like, “That’s so cool.” She was so visual with the storytelling. Fast forward and I was in college studying film and I was like, “One day I want to make an album about my life or things I’ve seen or things I do.” That was just a thought. I kept shooting and kept developing and I ended up getting this Olympus point and shoot camera. In Florida, having a manual camera, it’s super hard to shoot with because everything is always overexposed because it’s so bright there. When I got the point and shoot, it was much easier to light adjust it for autofocus. You can adjust the light to itself, so I started shooting more. I stopped for a little bit because it was just too hard. My photos were coming out super overexposed and it was a lot of money. My friend told me to shoot at 100 and I was like, “I’ll try that.”
MURF: Nice. How did you finally have the time to do a book?
BEATRICE: I was shooting photos of my travels in late 2018 and early 2019 and I had other photos backed up. As I was traveling more, I realized that I was going to these amazing places and meeting amazing people and I wanted an album of my memories. I always go through these tiffs with Instagram, like “I’m not posting on Instagram anymore.” Or I’ll think, “I don’t want to post all of these special moments on Instagram.”
“I was shooting photos of my travels in late 2018 and early 2019 and I had other photos backed up. As I was traveling more, I realized that I was going to these amazing places and meeting amazing people and I wanted an album of my memories. I always go through these tiffs with Instagram, like “I’m not posting on Instagram anymore.” Or I’ll think, “I don’t want to post all of these special moments on Instagram.”
MURF: You don’t want to waste it.
BEATRICE: Yeah. I’ll have my moments where I’m like, “I’m not doing it.” If I shoot on film, I won’t post those photos. So that was the goal, to stay off Instagram more and shoot more film. So I was shooting and, as I’m shooting, I’d get home and have my stuff developed and I was like, “Oh, these are so sick! These go together.” I didn’t have the concept until the middle of the year last year. As I was shooting, it was supposed to be a little zine of just four photos, but I kept shooting and not putting the zine together, because I was just so busy, so I just hung on to those photos.
MURF: What kinds of photographs were you shooting? I heard that you also went to Copenhagen. Was that a European Vans trip?
BEATRICE: No. I went out there for the watch sponsor that I rode for at the time. They took me to Copenhagen for two weeks and Norway and Oslo.
MURF: Was that in the summer, so it stayed light until one o’clock in the morning?
BEATRICE: Yeah. It stayed light until five o’clock and then it was light again because the sun would come back up. It was my first time in Oslo where I saw it the most. I’d been to Sweden in the winter, but not in the summer like that. I was tripping out because it was ten at night and the sun was so bright. I was filming it and I was like, “This is insane.” I was tripping out on that like, “How is it 10am and the sun is at its peak?” It was so crazy.
MURF: Did you get some good photographs of the surroundings in Oslo and Norway?
BEATRICE: I got a lot. Those are not really in the book, but I love architecture, so I got plenty of architecture shots and visuals of the streets. I love that because then I can remember, “I walked down that street.” Or “I loved that building.” So I have a lot of photos of that. I love the architecture in Europe. It’s very different.
MURF: Those photos didn’t make it into the book though?
BEATRICE: No. I was putting it together and I gave myself a deadline, and I’m like, “Okay.” The concept of the book is that every photo that I placed next to each other complements each other. They share a story in some way. I had that concept instead, so it was kind of hard to put the architecture photos in there because they didn’t really jive with the rest of the book. When it came to people, that’s a whole part of the book. I had the idea of it and then one day I had breakfast with one of the Vans guys. Usually, I don’t really ask for anything, but they were talking to me about this trip and they already wanted me to do something, so I was like, “Let me throw this idea at them.” I was like, “I’m working on a little book. Would you guys be down to help me put it out?” They were like, “Yeah. Sure. You just have to do everything and we got you.” I was like, “I love that.” I love having to do everything myself and they just handle the rest financially. It came out great. They helped me pay for it and I’m stoked on how it came out. It came out exactly how I wanted it. I did the layout and the photos myself. Every photo was shot on film.
MURF: Is it a hardbound book?
BEATRICE: Yeah. It’s hard cover and I’m stoked on that too. It’s called Fly On The Wall. Literally, the cover is a photo that I shot of a fly on the wall. Figuratively, I see myself as a little fly on the wall. Nobody might notice me in the room. I’m just taking photos and I’m around. I’m just living my life and I’m circling around people, kinda like that, in that way.
MURF: Do you feel like you’re a fly on the wall with skateboarding and the industry stuff and your travels? Do you feel like you’re still kinda like that kid looking around at skateboarding? Was it tripping you out that you were in Norway and someone flew you over there to skateboard?
BEATRICE: Yes! Murf, I’m tripping out that you care enough to sit on the phone and have this conversation with me. It’s insane. That trips me out, so imagine getting flown somewhere just to go skate. Just that fact that you’re calling me and interviewing me for a really cool magazine, I’m so honored. I’m so stoked just to have this conversation with you. I’m so impressed by it all.
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